At the beginning of the second episode of Quacks, we see a man being executed in public. William (Mathew Baynton) and John (Tom Basden) observe the event. The crowd cheers as the man’s neck is snapped. William doesn’t like the execution. John doesn’t like the fact that he always get pickpocketed at such events. The men meet with Robert (Rory Kinnear) at the pub. William speaks about the negative impacts of watching so many executions. He seems to be the only one concerned. Moments later, Caroline (Lydia Leonard) joins the men. She reveals that Charles Dickens (Andrew Scott) is in town. She has been invited to join him for supper. William is forced into joining her for the event.
The following day, Robert is introduced to Florence Nightingale (Milly Thomas). He immediately takes a disliking to the woman. She ridicules Robert’s work and also recommends that the surgeons keep their tools clean. Dr. Hendrick (Rupert Everett) speaks with the couple. He sides with Nightingale. Florence invites Dr. Hendrick over to her father’s place, before the conversation ends. Moments later, John and William meet with Robert. He tells his friends that they need to get rid of Florence. John seems to like her. Robert tries to talk William into getting her hospitalized for being mad or hysterical. He refuses. Moments later, Florence approaches and tells Robert that Hendrick wants them to visit Lady Neilson-Toy (Elizabeth Counsell) that afternoon. John catches the young pickpocket. He takes the boy home and gives him food.
John gives the boy a name, Ollie. He also pulls the boy’s tooth. William tries his best to catch up on Dickens’ books. Hendrick, Robert and Florence visit Lady Neilson-Toy. She explains that she has a pain on her backside. Florence notices a nice piece of jewelry nearby. The patient refuses to let anyone look at her bump. Eventually, Florence gets her to show her the wound. She does so when the guys leave the room. Seconds later, Florence tells Robert and Hendrick that the woman is suffering from a weeping abscess on her buttocks. Ollie returns to John’s shop with a bag full of teeth. He manages to convince John to hire him as a helper. Later, Caroline and William join Dickens at home. Mr. Bradbury (Robin Hooper) lets them in and Charles joins them seconds later.
The group quickly begins discussing Charles’ books. He bombards William with questions. It becomes clear right away that William knows nothing about his novels. Then, Caroline tells Charles about her paper on children working long hours. William also comments about his work regarding public executions and their ability to send people into a frenzy. Charles admits he is only interested in Caroline’s work. Meanwhile, Ollie begins stealing medication from John’s house. He also chugs some. Robert learns that Lady Neilson-Toy has taken a turn for the worst. Robert rushes to her side and finds Florence there. He manages to get Florence to admit that she is lying about her relationship with God. He confesses that she is a bright girl. They work together to remove the abscess from the patient. Charles and the group decides to head to John’s place to experiment with drugs.
John finds Ollie passed out on the floor. He hides the boy in the closet, before allowing Charles and the others inside. William and Caroline play with the dog, while Charles gets stoned. Moments later, Charles invites Caroline into the closet, so they can speak about her writing. Charles tries to get flirty with Caroline. She tells him off, before Ollie awakes. The boy scares Charles and sends him running for his life. John is happy to see his new assistant alive. In the morning, William discovers that Charles stole his comments about public executions. Then, Robert manages to get Florence fired by hiding the tiger brooch in her bag. Florence ridicules Robert, as the episode ends.
The second episode of Quacks was pretty good. The episode certainly did not feel like 30 minutes. It breezed by. The series is on par with White Gold, but probably a little better. I enjoy the writers throwing in the historical characters, such as Florence Nightingale and Charles Dickens. Sure, they’re not historically accurate, but they’re fun nonetheless.
Quacks is humorous, but it isn’t over the top. I’ve enjoyed both episodes and will continue watching the rest. The second episode scores a 7.5 out of 10. Catch up with previous recaps of Quacks now.